The aisle seemed to stretch for infinity. Staring down it, his eyes burned in the harsh artificial light. The visual noise of all the labels blending together like a nauseous fractal. The path was narrower than usual, the whole store seemed to be in disarray, actually. A result of the construction going on.

Why was there construction going on inside the supermarket smack dab in the middle of the day during open hours? Couldn’t they do that after hours? For the customers? Weren’t they worth it? The jackhammer began again. So did his headache.

Stuck between two perusing shoppers, he had no choice. Contact would have to be made. He couldn’t turn the cart around, so it would be the person in front he would have to negotiate by. Coming up slowly along the aisle to his right as she browsed the left, he came to a pause, ready to make eye contact, totally unnoticed.

“Errr, excuse me.” She looked over. He saw she understood, and nodded to confirm his unspoken request.

“Oh! Sorry,” she said as she pulled the cart beside her.

He left her with a thanks as he picked up steam moving past, finally on his way again, getting somewhere, getting things done.

The end of aisle was in sight.

“Whoa, sorry.” He came to a halt as someone appeared around the corner. The other fellow also paused. The two waited to see who would make the first move, who would let the other know where exactly they wanted to go. He started forward again, continuing along the right side of aisle, as the other fellow continued along the left side. Disaster averted. Finally, he was free of the aisle.

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